The Ranfurly Shield, colloquially known as the Log o' Wood, is a trophy in New Zealand's domestic rugby union competition. First played for in 1904, the Ranfurly Shield is based on a challenge system, rather than a league or knockout competition as with most football trophies. The holding union must defend the Shield in challenge matches, and if a challenger defeats them, they become the new holder of the Shield.
The Shield is currently held by Waikato, who won it from Taranaki on 3 October 2012. Although the professional era of rugby has seen competitions such as the ITM Cup and Super Rugby detracting from the pre-eminence of the Ranfurly Shield, many still regard it as the greatest prize in New Zealand domestic rugby, thanks to its long history, the fact that every challenge is a sudden-death defence of the Shield, and that any team, no matter how lowly, has a chance to win.
Famous quotes containing the word shield:
“Vice is its own reward. It is virtue which, if it is to be marketed with consumer appeal, must carry Green Shield stamps.”
—Quentin Crisp (b. 1908)